As mentioned earlier yours truly joined Indiana Pacers fans across the globe (or at least from Westfield to West Baden) in getting this Woj bomb via the agent of All-Star forward Paul George saying that they were looking to leave Indiana for greener-or in this case more purple and gold oriented-pastures in 2018. Two problems: George had told people two and a half days earlier at his charity softball game in Indianapolis that he was ‘a Pacer’ while 2) that NBA draft deal was coming up later in the week…which was NOT good timing for him or said Pacers to make a deal where they could get more than a proverbial poo-poo platter in return for letting said George leave said the Hoosier State’s mediocre pro hoops team of choice. Of course the Pacers front office handled it well while fans and media alike had just a bit of overreacting which led to the only PG social media response of substance in awhile to serve as neighborhood watch on the whole deal. Meanwhile the TJ Leaf era begins as yours truly braces for more modern day mediocrity from the former employer of TJ Ford, Troy Murphy and Lavoy Allen.
Nevertheless yours truly is happy to have seen the man known as PG13 for at least a few years in a Pacers uniform, so a few quick GIFs to celebrate what was at one time perhaps the most talented player to wear the blue and gold in the franchise’s post-ABA years:
First, a nice 360 jam…..
……followed by a dunk of the windmill variety……
….and back from the glory days of back to back East finals appearances against Miami:
and speaking of those Heat-Pacers battles, better make sure to add this:
Finally, might as well throw in that dance deal with John Wall:
Best wishes to PG13 wherever he ends up with in the Association.
So, I was doing homework last Sunday afternoon when I got this news:
When you openly admit that you’re trying to trade your star player at the trade deadline like Indiana Pacers team president Larry Bird did earlier this year, then said star player probably isn’t going to be looking to stay with your team long term unless your team makes it a priority to add quality current players to the roster instead of adding former WNBA players to its already bloated and ineffective front office. Add to that the fact that the team got swept in the first round of this year’s NBA playoffs to eventual Finals loser Cleveland (as previously documented here) and then finalize it with Bird “resigning” from his duties at the end of April for Kevin Pritchard to be the lead decision maker in Pacer Land yet still apparently having a lot of say in team matters as a “consultant”….and next thing you know said last weekend team star Paul George apparently finally said ‘enough’ and had his agent Aaron Mintz get the ball rolling to get the man known as PG13 off of the Pacers ASAP. While it probably didn’t help the 27 year old George’s rep by telling people at his own charity softball game the previous Thursday that he was in fact ‘a Pacer’ nor help the team do whatever the blue f— they were going to do about preparing for the 2017-18 campaign, nonetheless the damage has been done: the Pacers now have a star player not thrilled with the direction of the team, and he prefers to be out of there in the next 12 months-preferably per the media to his hometown Los Angeles Lakers if he gets his way.
Needless to say, I was not thrilled. Made the earlier weekend news about Monta Ellis getting a five game drug related suspension to start next year pretty damn tame by comparison.
Hence a week of full fledged drama with my worthless self routinely checking the Pacers Digest message board for news in the midst of what is as of this writing a 241 page thread of full fledged emotion where people blame everyone from George to George’s agent to Bird to Boomer the Pacers Panther to new Laker GM/all time Bird rival Magic Johnson to former WWF World Champ The Iron Sheik for the debacle that has unfolded these past few days. Add the little event called the 2017 NBA draft taking place this Thursday that ended with George STILL on the roster instead of being traded and we now have ourselves a frustrating time of the team being on autopilot while deciding what or what they cannot do with their disgruntled star. But even worse has been the question of who to blame for all of this s–t that has had the team in the midst of the public storm: is it the alleged diva nicknamed PG-13, or is it anyone else that doesn’t share the name of four long time media favorites from Liverpool?
For brevity’s sake, I simply share this post from the astutely named Basketball Fan from said Pacers Digest as he/she/Boomer/it and I think alike:
Sad but true its why when Paul George said he’s going to leave I can’t really be that upset sure I wish he did it where we could get something good out of it but really he knew what we should’ve known all along.
We are not winning anything with Bird running things and the Simons settling for mediocrity.
The Lakers despite their down period aren’t settling now it could blow up in their face but they are going down guns blazing. The Pacers will never do that.
I concur with dude/non-dude/Etch-A-Sketch 100 percent.
The NBA’s free agency period begins in a few days. I was hoping that whoever was running the Pacers would at least look like they had SOME kind of plan going other than acting like it was all bada— to get the 7th seed by competing down to the last game of the regular season for a lowly playoff spot each year.
Alas, I think not.
So the best thing for me to do is to get ready for more PG related drama and more inept Pacers front office work while taking a page from fellow native Hoosier Michael Jackson:
Your move, young Pritchard.
As for Bird….for all the good you did from 2012-14, even the iconic Stevie Wonder can see that you and your boys really f—–d things up these past three years. But if your boss approves and wants to give you and your boy Walsh a lifetime gig, so be it.
I said long ago that an organization’s commitment to Walsh-who oversaw the team’s self-destruction after the 2004 brawl in Detroit as he allowed Ron Artest to go full Ron Artest- is a commitment to mediocrity. And since Walsh still picks up a hefty check from the Simon clad, it’s best for me to not expect much else.
Best wishes to PG13 wherever it is he may end up at. Meanwhile I shall prepare for the TJ Leaf era and assume Bird’s fetish to find the next Larry Bird to go with the next Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald will continue to dominate the team’s mindset no matter what job title he may have. As for Pritchard, as mentioned on earlier posts dude’s the man who once picked a senior citizen in training over future Hall of Famer Kevin Durant the last time he got to run an NBA franchise. That turned out real well. So call me skeptical about TJ Leaf being the new modern day warrior of professional sports.
Hope this time you can do better, Big Kev. Admittedly after Bird’s past three years, you probably couldn’t do any worse. And I’ll give you this much-at least there’s no more Lavoy Allen on the roster, and since I assume Leaf has a pulse that’s one upgrade for 2017-2018. May be the only one, but one nonetheless.
Happy Mother’s Day from central Indiana. Good time to post for the first time since the NCAA men’s basketball tournament with a quick Fitzthoughts Five on what’s been going on as late (or in other words what excuses have kept me from posting besides no Indiana University coaching changes):
THOUGHT ONE–LIBRARY LIVING: Previous posts probably had a mention or two about dealing with my old pals at Comcast. Chalk on some computer problems and yours truly had the honor of hitting of the Hamilton East Public Library to write papers and do schoolwork that was not related to this blog. (Hard to write 15 page papers for PhD programs on Verizon Wireless LG cell phones.) While the cable is now cut off with a mysterious ending credit that has not appeared as of yet, the internet set up just now got settled to where I no longer go from work to said library in order to do 2-3 hours of homework each weeknight. Though if anyone ever asks, one can get 2 1/2 to 3 hours of free log-in time at said library’s computer lab depending on who’s trying to stay awake at their front desk. Hence sometimes I needed the library card (which of course had never been used because I usually go to said library as often as local Indiana sports teams win big games) and sometimes I didn’t. But it got the job done in order to transition to….
THOUGHT TWO-PAPER PROFICIENCY: …writing the before mentioned 15 page paper for this past PhD class at good ol’ Indiana Tech. In order to that I had to take off last Saturday from work so said paper could be thrown down. I was fortunate that it was a take home exam so I got to answer multiple questions on the rights and wrongs of whether I agreed with fictional case studies on Peru mining towns and if leadership model A was the baddest #!$^$ on the planet compared to leadership model 3. After cussing outloud for five straight minutes asking why in the $@$%! I was wasting a nice Saturday to type about said stuff as opposed to daydreaming about the summer before I went to college number one when I saw the tremendous trio of Noblesville HIgh School cheerleading stars Jenny Story, Jenny Flaugher and Keri Caswell in bikinis (details here) or anything else that did not want me to hurl the computer desktop out the window. Fortunately around 4 pm I said to $!$% with it and hunkered down to get the damn thing done before the midnight deadline. It was submitted at 9:30 pm, and I ended getting the grade needed to keep said A minus (I had a 92 when I needed a 93 for the all out A, but quite frankly I didn’t give two s—ts because the class was over). But if one wants to know how to NOT spend a nice Saturday evening, there you have it.
THOUGHT THREE-PISSPOOR PACER PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES: as is the case every spring since my days at said Noblesville High School (aka the Sonland) when the Indiana Pacers began to lose pro basketball playoff series with regularity, I scheduled my work and school time around watching their inevitable beatdown courtesy of ESPN’s favorite son LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. As they tend to do with the routineness of Hamilton County shucking out another piece of farmland for a subdivision, the Pacers ensured to take defeat from the jaws of victory on multiple occassions in order to get swept 4 games to zilch in losing the the defending NBA champs. Couldn’t even win a game. Of course I didn’t expect them to win the series-after all, this is an organization that keeps Donnie Walsh on the payroll to apparently fall asleep during home games because ownership considers him the modern day Einstein of NBA basketball thinking-so I looked at said beatings as a way to evaluate the team and see who I would personally prefer to be on the team’s roster in 2017-18 instead of picking up inflated paychecks to underachieve against the likes of Toronto, Boston and Milwaukee. Here’s what I found:
-the hardcore fans of the Pacers Digest message board lived up to standards as multiple individuals blamed Paul George for everything from the losing sweep to the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. (Ironically one of the posters kept calling said All-Star George a baby throughout the entire year, and unironically dude’s avatar includes Democratic Party approved tyke Stewie Griffin from Fox’s Family Guy so..GTFO on that). Dude averaged 28 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists a game in the series. You know who didn’t, Seth McFarlane fan? Your man Monta Ellis, that’s who. (Ellis is StewieFan’s favorite player. Shocking, I know.) Your son Ellis scored 22 POINTS THE ENTIRE SERIES. He was brought in to get the team 15 to 20 points PER GAME. Dude’s done as an NBA starter unless he goes to a bad Western Conference team and gets to jack 15 to 20 shots a game. Then again I’d have no issue with it as I’d prefer to not see Ellis play another game in a Pacer uniform again. He was that bad this year. Like the idiot I am, I watched enough games to know.
–Myles Turner has a long way to go before becoming the NBA All-Star the Pacers expect him to be. Turner was Tristan Thompson’s b—- the entire series. 12 points and 7 boards a game won’t cut it in big games. However there’s a half glass full/half glass empty dynamic involved. Half glass full is dude is only 21 and hasn’t reached full potential yet. Half glass empty is your NBA team is pretty s—-ty when your second best player is 21. Which means….
-….I hope to never see CJ Miles, Al Jefferson, or Lavoy Allen ever wear Indiana Pacers uniforms again. Miles put up 29 points combined in the four playoff losses; not surprisingly some Pacers Digest board members believe Miles is bound to be in the Hall of Fame someday, so they feel losing him from the roster would be a catastrophe. News flash: said Pacers Digest people make me feel like a nuclear physicist after reading garbage like that. (Miles is the icon in waiting that Larry Bird signed in 2014 during Bird’s offseason salary battle with Lance Stephenson; as Bird had to bring back Stephenson JUST TO MAKE THE F—-ING PLAYOFFS THIS YEAR as well as to avoid having a losing regular season record, I’d rather have Pamela Anderson’s CJ Parker from Baywatch out there on the court. Which of course led to me daydreaming about Pamela Anderson for a few moments. You’re not surprised, I know.). I’ve talked about Allen’s worthlessness before so nothing’s changed there. Jefferson? Couldn’t even get on the court during the playoff series. Hence Jefferson (the big $10 million per year addition to be the bench scorer the Pacers have been searching for since George HW Bush was in the White House) was, yes, more worthless than Allen. Enough said. Could have carted out any undrafted rookie to do what he did this year at 1/10th the cost. Then again, a Donnie Walsh team is not afraid to waste money no matter how many Indianapolis sportswriters are on the team’s payroll to tell you that the Pacers are the best franchise in professional sports……which again enforces said point about wasting said money.
TLDR: no Ellis and no Jefferson in Pacer uniforms will make me happy next year. No Allen should be a given. And the Pacers have posted records of 38-44 (no playoffs), 45-37 (losing 4 out of 7 games to Toronto in a playoff opening round) and 42-40 (losing 4 straight to Cleveland in another playoff opening round) since deciding said CJ Miles was a key member of a championship contender. CJ Miles would not be a key member of his nephew’s latest Playstation game, so….no. Miles IS good at losing NBA games, though, as he’s been doing it for 12 years now. I’d prefer the Pacers to not overpay this individual to make it a baker’s dozen. But these are the Pacers, so I’m ready for Miles to get re-signed to a $10 million annual deal and not blink twice. It’s what they do. Which means no money for….
-…Jeffrey DeMarcus Teague who supposedly will command a salary of $20 million in the open market next year. Dude actually is a competent NBA point guard on offense (top 10 in the NBA in assists, 15 points per game on the scoring front) while kind of worthless on defense (Cleveland part-time senior citizen Kyrie Irving dropped 25 points per game on Teague in the playoffs, including a 37 point effort in the second game that ensured the Pacers would get swept). Hence you could spend $20 million more usefully….like keeping Paul George in town so you could have a reason to watch the team to begin with. So Teague’s situation will be the toughest call the Pacers front office will have to make. As the front office will now be led by the man who once drafted Greg Oden over Kevin Durant and includes indiviuals who preferred George Hill over Kawhi Leonard, not real encouraging. Hence again I’m ready for that 5 year, $50 million CJ Miles contract to get inked because Pacers.
-lastly Thaddeus Charles Young is, well, Thaddeus Charles Young: an undersized power forward with an oversized contract who is underwhelming when asked to be a starter alongside a center (Turner) who prefers to shoot three pointers because Young also prefers to shoot three pointers and not really do too much to win games. Averages of 11 points and 6 rebounds a game are not iconic for an NBA starter who made $14 million this year and cost this franchise a first round pick who could have been just as productive while NOT making $14 million a year. His one good trait in my view: not being either Al Jefferson or Lavoy Allen. Yes, I’m grasping for straws on that one.
With Larry Bird deciding to take a lesser role (read: not be the main man in charge of personnel mdecision making while keeping his hopes alive of owning an NBA team by being involved with said Indiana NBA team to possibly own one day) while Kevin Pritchard (the man who picked Oden over Durant when he was the main front office dude with Portland) takes over the lead role, the Pacers front office at least acted like they are attempting to make changes to compete and not be a mediocre POS team like they’ve been the last three seasons. But if Ellis and Jefferson are still on the roster next year doing jack s–t, then I’m not going to expect too much out of Pritchard until both those dudes are long gone. Perhaps Turner will be the next great NBA legend. Perhaps this blog will be the inspiration for an Academy Award winning movie with New York Times approved actress Meryl Streep in the lead. Hence I’m not counting on an NBA championship parade in Indianapolis next summer. Nor should I, really. 40 years of losing countless NBA games that matter will do that.
Good luck, Mr. Pritchard. If you read this you know my expectations are low, but you also know that my stupid a– will watch your team next year anyway. Win win for all involved.
Oh yeah, other points….
THOUGHT FOUR: WEEKEND WALKING– growing up in Noblesville (aka Sonland City) meant riding your bike around streets with potholes and having limited options of things to do. You had a skating rink (now torn down), a Pizza Hut (now relocated), a McDonald’s (now remodeled) and emphasis on going to high school football and basketball games (the latter in which would lead me to being your dude who sat with two clipboards keeping stats for the school teams as mentioned verbatum during senior year…which at least kept me out of having to work weekends at Shoe Carnival, so there’s that). I never figured that the adult version of me would see Noblesville not have pothole plagued streets, much less look respectable to walk around in. However tax money aplenty and modernization have led to the city actually being a place that I can handle; it also has led to a place that I don’t mind walking around in for some sort of exercise or just to stay calm during weekends where one needs a break from routines like writing 15 page papers that make you want to throw furniture or throw down a fifth of the nearest available beverage.
Hence at least once a weekend I try to go for a 30 minute walk around the area. I’ve had back to back Sundays where I got to stroll through downtown into Forest Park (which was once a place with a couple bad shelters, a baseball field, a pool and a broken down minature golf course) and enjoyed the peace and quiet. I also had no problem dining downtown at the local Subway or even going by foot to McDonald’s. It leads to memories good (like the time I won the North Elementary “Hoop Shoot” basketball contest for my grade by hitting the most layup baskets in 30 seconds, which incidentally was the most I ever got to shoot in elementary school but that’s another story) and not so good (getting hit by a car one time while riding said bike). It also leads to a kind of important memory, which will be….
THOUGHT FIVE: THE PROM DATE. I’ve only babbled about this every single time I’ve posted since starting this blog last year, but I’ve talked about wanting to recap the prom because 1) it was what inspired me to start the @fitzthoughts account on Instagram while 2) then helping me to start said fitzthoughtsblog as well as 3) being influencial in what I knew I had to do to fully improve myself with my time at the Sonland ending and my time at college number one (Transylvania University of Lexington, Kentucky, aka Transy to alums and Lexington 40508 to me) beginning. Last week (May 11, to be exact) was the anniversary of said prom. Whether eating at a Ruby Tuesday’s in Anderson and seeing Anderson area youth decked out at said restaurant for their proms (which was a few years ago) or dealing with job training stuff (which was this year) I always seem to remember that particular date. While said Prom Date in question-one Sarah Jane Fox-probably has little concern on whether I am breathing, paying taxes or losing fantasy football playoff games on an annual basis, nonetheless it was kind of important. Considering I was a 5 foot 4, 200 pound freshman and felt like I had an uphill battle just to try to look like anything resembling a normal dude in high school (see here for examples) just going to the damn prom was a big deal to begin with, and to go with a beautiful girl made it even better. As if the avatar photo for the blog and (as of this typing) the Instagram account isn’t subtle enough, right?
Like I said, it was pretty important. Now it’s time for me to get off my a– and write a litte about why it was important. Or as the case tends to me, a lot.
Time to write that post then. After all, beats homework. (Plus next assignment’s not due Wednesday. Management of time in full effect.)
Thanks to any and all who read this and again Happy Mother’s Day.
Saturday afternoon in Central Indiana and Indiana University has a new men’s basketball coach. Since it’s not Tom Crean, I’m happy. Since it’s not Billy Donovan or Brad Stevens, I’m not shocked as I expected someone from a mid-major college (read: not drinking in the Big 10, ACC, Big East, Pac 12 or SEC) to get the first look from IU athletic director and former number one fan of said Crean Big Fred Glass. So the names Gregg Marshall of Wichita State and Archie Miller of Dayton have been on my radar for the last several days. With Marshall already making big jack in the Sunflower State, that is where I had a feeling Miller would get the nod if offered the IU gig for a salary similar to Crean’s (as Crean was one of the ten highest paid college basketball coaches in the land to do whatever the blue hell he did in losing regularly to Nebraska, Minnesota and Northwestern).
This afternoon before getting ready to watch the Elite Eight NCAA tourney games, I found out Miller took the job. Hence Little Archie is coming to Bloomington.
Quick links to those so-called sports media icons reporting on this….
Still employed at ESPN after doing his part to report on the demise of Bob Knight nearly two decades ago, old Andy Katz partners with Jeff Goodman to break the story on Miller’s hiring:
Meanwhile former Crean defender Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated IMO is happy that Miller got the job over former IU hero and current UCLA coach Steve Alford (never mind Alford said repeatedly this week that he wasn’t going anywhere..for now):
I like Jim Harbaugh. Respect him for his days as the quarterback for my favorite NFL team-the Indianapolis Colts-and his work as a football coach both in college (former Stanford, current Michigan) and the pros (San Francisco). I also get he’ll defend his brother-in-law Tom Crean since he’s probably unhappy Crean was let go from his high paying gig coaching Indiana University basketball this past Friday. Family is family. And coaches tend to not criticize other coaches when it comes to talking about them in the press.
However, Harbaugh may need to look at things from a more unbiased perspective, says I.
Link from our boys at CBS Sports to Harbaugh and his interview with SI about his Tom Arnold like bro-in-law now needing a new gig:
“Much like my situation in San Francisco, the people that are doing the micromanaging … when it comes to building a ball team, what they know could not blow up a small balloon,” Harbaugh said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “In my case, an owner and a general manager. In his case, an administration. They are so similar in that way. And he still wins two Big Ten championships outright.”
I’ll let Kelly Bundy take it from here before adding my take:
Jim, if your turned on the TV this weekend I’m sure you saw that your man Crean is not in the NCAA tourney this year. Nor was he in four of his other eight years coaching this program. HE LOST TO INDIANA-PURDUE FORT WAYNE THIS SEASON. And that administration you just insulted? THEY GAVE UP THE CHANCE TO HOST A POSTSEASON BASKETBALL GAME BECAUSE YOUR BROTHER IN LAW HAD PISSED OFF THE FANS TO THE POINT WHERE THEY DID NOT WANT TO SEE HIM COACH THERE ANYMORE.
I hope you don’t ever, EVER coach in a half filled Michigan Stadium, Coach Harbaugh. Because your brother-in-law was on his way to coaching in half filled arenas as long as he kept losing 14 to 16 games a year. In fact THE ASSEMBLY HALL BALCONY WAS BASICALLY VACANT during Big 10 games this year……and since that administration you just insulted RENOVATED THAT ARENA FOR SIXTY MILLION BUCKS….then it’s not like the administration wasn’t paying attention to your brother-in law losing nearly as many games as he won.
Lastly while you should be rightfully proud of your Super Bowl appearance with the 49ers a few years ago….your brother-in-law has coached Indiana to as many Final Fours as I have. And his record in postseason Big 10 play is as good as yours against Ohio State.
Dude had nine years. Program was mediocre. Dude lost to Nebraska in basketball at home on a regular basis. While Indiana may accept mediocrity in football, this Indiana administration apparently wasn’t going to put up with more mediocrity in basketball.
I wish your brother-in-law well, Coach Harbaugh. I just don’t wish to see him coaching Indiana basketball again. Simple as that.
I got my wish Friday. Now if they screw up yet another coaching hire, then we can revisit your comments later Coach Harbaugh. But for now I’ll just enjoy the moment…and the ability to watch prime Christina Applegate from my youth.
Best wishes to all and thanks to anyone who may actually read this. Meanwhile we’ll see if another example of Indiana basketball-the NBA’s Pacers-can actually give Toronto a competitive game this evening. Yeah, I’ll be surprised too.
On a Sunday afternoon in central Indiana the NCAA men’s basketball tournament goes on with third round action. Butler and Purdue have advanced to next week’s Sweet 16 portion. Notre Dame jobbed out after winning their first game to finish in the final 32. Indiana University? Lost an NIT game to Georgia Tech at Georgia Tech despite being the ‘home’ team to finish with a record of 18-16 for the season. Fell asleep watching said game as said IU team scored something like four points in the game’s first 10 minutes. Before falling asleep I again thought to myself YOUR MOVE BIG GLASS in hoping the Indiana athletic director Fred Glass would look for change as Indiana-a university with five NCAA titles and a strong traditional love of college university-was now losing its 51st game in four years and had missed the NCAA tourney twice since Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo both left for the NBA after Crean’s team jobbed to Syracuse in the 2013 NCAA tourney.
I got my wish on Thursday. So did many Indiana University fans who were not exactly thrilled with national sportswriters telling them that they should idolize a coach who had lost 14 or more games in six of his nine seasons roaming the sidelines in Bloomington. And despite said sportswriters’ baaing like sheep about Crean’s two regular season Big 10 titles (won in 2013 and 2016) they failed to mention Crean’s 3-9 record in the Big 10 postseason tournament…his failure to get past the Sweet 16 in the NCAA’s when in-state competitors Notre Dame and Butler had been able to do so…..or his ability to take teams with future NBA talent and miss the NCAA tournament entirely like he did in 2014 when he led a squad with NBA lottery pick Noah Vonleh and current NBA starter Yogi Ferrell in his starting lineup to-you guessed it- a 17-15 record.
I’m not going to babble much more like these sportswriters about the great attributes of Crean. I know he coached Dwayne Wade in college. I know he’s related to Jim Harbaugh by marriage. I also know he’s lost 45 percent of his games coaching the college basketball team that I grew up with. And HE’S HAD NINE YEARS TO TURN THE PROGRAM AROUND. If you sportswriters want to keep defending him, great. Go get him his next job while you’re at it.
Best wishes to Crean as I expect to see him coaching somewhere else or on TV when next college hoops season rolls around. As for Indiana basketball…..once again the coaching search will dominate headlines as names like Billy Donovan, Gregg Marshall, Archie Miller and the immortal Steve Alford will get thrown out on message boards and talk radio until someone gets chosen.
Those last three coaches in the post-Bob Knight era haven’t exactly worked out too well. So hopefully for Indiana fans the fourth one will. We’ll see. After all it’s been thirty years since IU last won the NCAA title back in 1987. Not sure if most people will be wanting to wait another thirty years.
Hence I conclude by once again saying the obvious:
Sunday morning in Central Indiana. Took me eight months-and a week off between PhD classes-to get to where I could finally conclude my blog entries about my senior year at Sonland 46060 (aka Noblesville High School). After taking two weeks off when I concluded Part 5 (see the 2-25-17 post with a picture of a Number 10 approved comic genius the late Leslie Neilsen here):
…it’s time to wrap this up because I have lots of stuff I still need to write about like good learning experiences (see the oft-mentioned future posts on The Prom Date) and better experiences (not going to undergraduate school in the state of Indiana during a time where I equated Indiana with Alcatraz). So here we go.
Quick recap from where I left off in Part 5 as well as other previous info….
Good parts of senior year: not working a dead-end job (had already done it for the summer), getting better grades, being in student government despite having little more than a fancy job title and the ability to drool over Meredith Prystas so I could stay awake in student government meetings, being on the GTFO countdown to get out of Noblesville (aka Sonland City) with graduation in late May, and most importantly having lost 60 pounds in two years to be down to 140 after tipping the scales at 200 early in my high school career. (With the exceptions of not being a felon, getting my MBA from college number four in 2015 and fraternity related info to be shared on future posts, the latter is probably my biggest accomplishment. Without doing that this post doesn’t get written because quite frankly I probably wouldn’t be alive to do it.). Oh, and in the fall semester it was great to see The Homecoming Queen in senior comp class every morning in third hour. That inspired me to stay awake and get an ‘A’ in there.
Bad parts of senior year: getting stood up for Homecoming (which was the beginning step to me saying ‘well, I think it’s best that I don’t go to college in this state unless I’m considering the priesthood’) and IMO not having the courage to go from wearing Coke bottle glasses to contacts full time. (Thanks to some hard hitting advice from The Prom Date, I took care of that come college time. Wise decision.) Being ignored in the fall by 80-90 percent of my senior classmates in periods one through three didn’t matter as much in part because 1) most of them were asleep at one time or another in said classes 2) if they were girls from my class year then they could have given two s–ts less if I had lost weight or if I had appeared in an episode of Soul Train while 3) in fairness I didn’t make too much effort to talk to people because I just wanted to GTFO of the Sonland. If the future Mrs. Marc Maloy had not not talked to me for the previous six years of junior Sonland and senior Sonland (grades 6-11), then another year wasn’t going to be too shocking. So occasionally I would get some DER DID YA USE BE FAT stares or questions and that was it.
While all that stuff set the tone for me to count down the days towards getting out of Noblesville, the West Beverly like drama of dealing with Number 10 that spring ensured that I was going to shed no tears on leaving the Hoosier State to pursue my dreams. (Mainly because thanks in part to said drama of dealing with Number 10 I figured that I did not want to throw my life down the drain while getting into some Peyton Place level b—s–t. Plus in fairness I actually wanted to go to a college where I wouldn’t place 5 to 4 odds into running into a conceited girl from the Sonland every day of the week, so things worked out pretty well. Laziness permitting…more on that stuff in future posts). And that is where Part 6 comes in-time to now cut through said s–t and recap my last semester of high school in showing how a friendship went to, well, complete s–t in a few weeks time while I found there would be much better days ahead in what would be an unlikely place for most Sonlanders to concern themselves about since it wasn’t located in a Rust Belt factory town or near Monroe Reservoir– the Bluegrass region of Lexington, Kentucky.
Now time for me to also cut said s–t and talk about said Sonland senior spring after posting the sophomore Sonland photo of Number 10 since he has helped inspire these lengthy last two posts:
(-Will get classes out of way first before Number 10 related stuff….I had Econ with wrestling coach and Purdue alum Mr. Brian Powers first hour…pre-calc with Mr. Jim May second hour…..psychology and sociology with junior varsity hoops coach and therefore main coach for Number 10 Mr. Gary Christlieb in third and fourth hours….Spanish with Mrs. Janet Balsley and the non-comedy of Number 10 in fifth hour…and lastly yearbook with Mr. Butch Robbins in sixth hour. All one needs to know is that Econ set the tone for the day because I would get to class at 7:43 or 7:44 am just before the 7:45 am bell and all these people in there looked like they ready to be extras in The Walking Dead. With the exception of ‘Earthman’ Steve Ruda asking me on Senior Skip Day-yeah, you’re not shocked I went but hold on for The Prom Date posts for that story-if I had in fact gone to prom, I really don’t remember anyone talking to me in that class for the whole 4 1/2 months. So I went in there, got an ‘A’ and therefore was not among the rumored one out of three Sonland seniors who had to take the course over again in order to graduate. Better yet, I also remember Powers-my former seventh grade football coach- asking if I went to prom because I showed up for said Senior Skip Day, so that meant two people talked to me in that class that year. Two more than expected, but in fairness I have a feeling most of these sons and daughters of Sonland USA were in similar GTFO mode so they weren’t too concerned with socializing with me. So be it.
Oh…Keely Clegg-good friend of the Homecoming Queen and Hot Sonland Chick-was in my psych class, so that made staying awake in psych all the more worthwhile. Unlike my first college psych class that I would take the following year, I got an ‘A’ in there as well. Safe to say I got much worse than an ‘A’ in said college intro psych class. Also a good time to post a photo of Keely because, well, why the f— not?
So…those were my senior spring classes. Pure excitement. Now for the drama.)
…as last mentioned in Part 5 I had the ‘honor’ of going on the first date/social function between Number 10 and Tara Lynn Walczak (hence referenced as TLW for the rest of said post) after being said go between on setting said WTF event up. It was right before Christmas…..and Christmas included Number 10 calling my household to note he got a new ride for the holidays (which I already knew about from Cliff and Mrs. Cliff and kept as a secret) while I in turn noted I did not. (I got a new pair of Adidas shoes instead.) And apparently Number 10 and TLW were not repulsed from each other. In fact far from it. So my 1991 began with wrapping up finals by mid-January…keeping stats with Young Adams and Air Bowman for the Sonland basketball teams…..seeing said Number 10 be the top player on a JV team that would end up with a 17-3 season record while not seeing the floor for said varsity since he was behind local media favorite and point guard Brady ‘Boo’ Harvey (the on-again off-again beau of previously mentioned Meredith Prystas who was also previously referenced in a comedy story where me and Young Adams drove his inebriated self to a late-night visit when said couple was apparently on the off-again stage), local legend Gary Duvall II, current Notre Dame cross country coach Matt Sparks (son of Big Jim Sparks) and one of Duvall’s main men Young Ryan White in the Noblesville Millers guard rotation. In other words despite being the JV team’s leading scorer and the only sophomore on the varsity, Number 10 (who by wearing Harvey’s number 22 when playing JV would get compared more often than not to the future DePauw University letter winner) was going to have to wait his turn in rivaling Catherine Purdy’s main son Scott Shepherd of Carmel as being a Hamilton County sophomore basketball star. So it was a common routine to see Number 10 averaging double digits in a Sonland JV victory before jogging to the locker room during the fourth quarter so dude could change from Number 22 to Number 10 for riding the pine on varsity. As the Tony Etchison led varsity Millers would compile a 16-8 record in winning their third consecutive sectional championship, safe to say Number 10 was going to have to either see the bubonic plague or wait for the 1991-92 season to be a varsity contributor. (For those who care, dude would be a starter that next year…team failed to win sectional….and dude was out of the program and apparently transferred to another school. So no Nike contract for dude. )
It was also a common routine to see the individual that Number 10 was compared to most in the program-the before referenced Harvey-look me up after games to argue about how many assists he had been credited for or other assorted mumbo jumbo. After one said argument I simply wondered if the increasing visible bad traits and ego of that Harvey (who one time took out whatever frustration he had in the pecking order of Sonland stardom behind Etchison by drawing a dirty comic showing his displeasure in being counted on as the county’s leading assist man while Etchison would average 20 points per game in becoming Noblesville High School’s all-time leading scorer before future Indiana University star and Mr. Basketball Tom Coverdale broke his record a few years later) would end up becoming a common trait of Number 10. Since Number 10 had already begun to answer that question by making fun of my family, friends not named Number 10 (particularly Young Adams) and home….well actually that question had already been answered. While it was a common routine for me to make excuses for that s–t early in 1991, as referenced shortly the excuses wore as thin as my then after weight loss 30 inch waist jeans. Dude was on the way to becoming a full-fledged (rhymes with sock).
There was also another common routine developing. That was the budding romance between Number 10 and TLW….and yours truly being asked to either be sidekick or mediator of sorts when there was drama between said two.
Off the court yours truly ended up getting some phone calls from TLW if there were arguments/lack of commitment/lack of intelligent comments made by Number 10 that an eight year old with a Ritalin addiction would not make to a girl two years his elder who ‘liked’ him. Early on in January and February this meant on some weeknights and most weekends I would be expected to roam over to TLW’s home to sit/watch TV and play Screech to Number 10’s Zach Morris and TLW’s Kelly Kapowski. Which gives me a good time to take a break to post this picture:
While I eventually would get bored of this and the increasing insults of Number 10 (stay tuned for what happens) early on it meant either renting movies that surprisingly were not The Naked Gun or Coming to America (because eventually a high school senior woman mature enough to rock most college campuses won’t put up with that s–t from dude two years younger than her if dude wants to do more than squat on the couch) or hitting Castleton to go the mall and see new releases. In turn I ended up seeing a lot of Dan Aykroyd movies….or at least two which were two more than I wanted to at the time since his box office appeal rivaled Indiana Pacers playoff success back in the early 90’s. Two of said movies are pictured below to illustrate said point:
For your side note, the second movie was the film debut of one Tupac Shukar who at the time was a background dancer for then hip hop icons Digital Underground. They appeared in the movie, and our man 2Pac rocked the Yankees swag while appearing with his man Shock G:
That’s the highlight of the second movie unless you can stand two hours of bad cinema to watch 10-15 minutes of early 90’s Demi Moore. Just take my word for it.
So if I remember these as HIGHLIGHTS of hanging out with the now Dynamic Duo in the making, you can tell that I was generally bored enough to take up needlepoint or asking myself WTF IS WRONG WITH THIS as I would put up with bad Number 10 comedy and worse Number 10 insults about me and Young Adams (Young Adams didn’t have to be there for the insults to take place, so Number 10’s Humanitarian of the Year status continued to be certified). While Young Adams may not have endeared himself to the matter when on a rare occasion he was hanging out over there once and mentioned that he shared a fondness for the music of the Grease soundtrack with TLW, nonetheless this trend of Number 10’s ego increasing (which got bigger as he found he’d be the only sophomore to play on the varsity baseball team) did not help matters. Nor did the one time that Number 10 decided he and TLW were going to grace their presence by deciding they were going to visit my house one night. I had no problem with it. Neither did the family. Yet the Number 10/TLW combo apparently did as they went straight to my room, did not acknowledge my family, listened to an LL Cool J tape while Number 10 tried to show his pimp game sitting on my bed with TLW, and then rolled out without acknowledging said family. Considering dude insulted my family, house, friends, ride, upbringing, etc……let’s just say that did not help matters. It was more than a common routine; it was a regular everyday occurrence.
As for on the court….during the varsity games of calendar year 1991 Young Adams and I would be in the press box keeping stats and notice another common trend: TLW (who had to sit on the bench as a manager) and Number 10 (sitting there warming the bench) would either try to not sit by each other and if they didn’t succeed then Number 10 would outright ignore/twitch/act uncomfortable in an OOH DER SHE GOT UM COOTIES line of approach. Because we would often hear about non-commitment or other drama from both the male and female voices of the Number 10/TLW combo, Young Adams correctly noted that both needed to s–t or get off the pot. As a dude who talked to both on the phone or wrote notes or mediated on said deal (one time Number 10 quoted me in writing TLW saying the two of them needed to spend more ‘quality’ time with each other; I know because I read the damn note word for word) then I seconded that emotion like Motown men Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. So after a couple of months of this (coincidentally around the time hoops season ended with the sectional win and subsequent regional loss in March), eventually Number 10 and TLW settled down..and you can fill in the blanks on what happened next. (To recall a quote I would later use when discussing adult life with lifelong crush Keri Caswell before Caswell would eventually have kid number two with dude she was on-again off-again with, “You’re not going to play Yahtzee.”) Good for Number 10 not having to deal with the birds and the bees; bad for anyone dealing with dude’s ego as he then became a full-fledged (rhymes with sock).
While I had no issue spending less time with Number 10 (I wasn’t planning on dealing with dude except for Spanish class since he went straight from warming the varsity hoops bench to warming the varsity baseball bench) I did have an issue with his insults. He became a (rhymes with dock) to anyone and everyone with the exception of some that he played baseball with. If dude called he would discuss the greatness of TLW and his baseball cohorts (ME GO PLAY CARDS with a “Good for you, Number 10, good for you” was common) before insulting my family and Young Adams and anyone who dared not play baseball or be named Walczak or look like a postal worker from a Boston based sitcom starring Ted Danson. While I in turn found other things to do on weekends that I was not being insulted by Number 10 (usually consisting of me, Young Adams, his man MC Burkett, Burkett’s comrade DJ Layton and the soon-to-be good friend That Son Shields hitting the movies or the mall) I also found that the less I talked to Number 10, the better. (Usually from my perspective TLW didn’t exactly try to put a stop to any of Number 10’s insults, plus she enjoyed making fun of Young Adams. Hence IMO I knew I had two people to go if I wanted someone to pull the plug on me when it was time to take me off life suppott.) And I also found his communication skills were lacking; when I was off for an entire week of school on a long planned (like several months because I did fundraisers in my spare time) school trip to our nation’s capital with Big Jim Sparks and the DC Club, IIRC Number 10 called the house to wonder what had happened since I had not missed ANY school before that time. Quite frankly (TM) it turned out to be a pretty good week because, well, there was no Number 10 related b—s— or drama to deal with. During said DC trip good friend and fellow class of ’91 man Brian Allen noted the change in my demeanor during said trip while also acknowledging the same about the Dynamic Duo’s attitudes. As Allen was a friend of mine when I was both 200 pounds as well as 140 pounds, I knew dude was shooting straight. Allen also joined me in calling Big Jim “Jim” during said trip; during a semester when I rarely smiled I smiled often. Coincidence, I think not.
Once I returned from said DC trip, I generally found that TLW (who again was in my 4th hour sociology class) usually did not talk to me unless there was an issue with Number 10…and that was fine with me as she sat on the other side of the room and I remembered that I hadn’t talked to her for six years prior so life would continue on. I also found that I was more than likely going to tell Number 10 to STFU or ignore him altogether when he decided to do his daily insulting of my family/other friends/life/existence. (This led to one time as previously noted when Pat Kastner looked at him and said ‘Why in the f— should he talk to you? All you do is make fun of him.’ Number 10 responded with an insult that he probably couldn’t have spelled, but I’ll assume that by then TLW was assisting with the homework as the requests to write comps were fewer and far between towards the end of that school year.) And in turn I counted down towards spring break (in which I visited two schools-St. Joseph’s College in Rensselear and Transylvania University in Lexington, KY-and one can already figure from before which one I picked) …my 18th birthday…and finally graduating in May while then being able to GTFO of the Sonland once and for all.
So of course it would be on my birthday weekend when I finally said ‘enough’ and stood up to said Number 10 and his b—s–t. I also basically set the tone towards ending a friendship in main part (says I, at least) due to no longer putting up with verbal abuse and put downs because there was not a BMW in my parents’ driveway nor was I having relations with a girl two years my elder. (And considering what you’ve read about me assisting in setting dude up in getting his initial action, remember that I’ve been hearing this #!$%% for quite a long while.
April 1991. My birthday was on a Sunday. My trend of the last few weeks had been hearing Number 10 (often behind my back) insulting my family’s house by calling it a shoebox. (Remember I wrote earlier that I got into fights over the size of my house back then. In an era with one out of six hungry and poverty not exactly uncommon in North America, keep in mind that is stupid s–t to say now just as it was then.) Acting like he was doing me a favor, Number 10 requested that I go out to TLW’s house to get my birthday ‘gift’ from them before they were going to do whatever they were going to that evening (which was stay at TLW’s and assumingly not play Yahtzee, Monopoly or any games made by Parker Brothers). Perhaps sensing that there was going to be an incident or to get out of the house (or more likely both), Young Adams sailed with me in the 1977 Buick to the Sherwood Schwartz inspired bungalow that the media calls West Harbour in Sonland City. It’s around 5 or 6 pm, still daylight. Me and Young Adams meet the Dynamic Duo in TLW’s front yard. Number 10 has a look on his face like he just found that he could eat a jar of marbles and not go to the hospital. TLW is TLW. For my 18th birthday I get a card that has a shoebox reference on it. Number 10 openly makes fun of me. TLW is TLW. After wondering how I could ever call this person a friend at one time or another in my life, I simply wait a minute, look at Young Adams and say “Let’s go Adams.” (Young Adams had already been insulted by these people to begin with as at the time, well, I’ll be nice and stop this sentence.) Young Adams sees I am unhappy. I simply do not say much. After all I am more than unhappy; I am !$$%^! pissed off.
Now if Aaron Spelling was at the controls we’d have a teen pregnancy or me looking for a few needles after ending up on a bender with Steve Sanders and Dylan McKay in West Hollywood. Instead we simply go to Young Adams’ house (we were going to hit the mall/hit the movies/go to Pizza Hut/cruise) and Young Adams and I speak. He does most of the speaking. I am still pissed beyond words. It is now nightfall. I decide to be simple and to the point as, well, I was having enough of being treated like s–t.
All we did was simply sail back out to said TLW location, with me leaving the car running and Young Adams asking what I was going to do. Said I: “Watch.” I simply took said gag gift/insult card, walked up to the new ride of Number 10, may or may not have spit/ripped said card up, yelled out a similar statement to what Catherine Purdy had told me to do over the phone back in the fall (read: go f— yourself) and then sailed off with Young Adams. IIRC the Dynamic Duo watched yet did nothing. I in turn did not cut a promo like a coked up Macho Man Randy Savage circa 1987; instead I decided that was the last time I was going to talk or deal with Number 10 or TLW (TLW claimed they spent an hour trying to figure out what card to buy me, so at the time I no longer wanted to deal with her either). Young Adams was impressed that I had gone back out there to begin with; he was more impressed that I basically decided to give back said card/gift because it was the equal of NOT HAVING THIS S— BRO SO F— OFF. That’s when I DID cut my promo and simply said “I don’t give a flying f— if I EVER talk to them again. F— this s—.’
So me and Young Adams, yes, cruised, went to the mall, and ended up at Pizza Hut that night. I officially turned 18 by sailing said Buick in the streets of Sonland City. Since it wasn’t going to be with a paid hooker from Vegas, so be it.
The next day-my birthday-was a Sunday. If you’ve read this you’re not surprised that I was having nothing to do with Number 10, TLW or anyone related to them. You’re also not surprised that my father took me and Young Adams to an Indiana Pacers game that afternoon. Nor are you surprised that I’m going to paste the link to said game here:
The Pacers won that day to keep their playoff hopes alive as they would soon get do the job to Boston in the first round of said NBA playoffs. Young Adams being Young Adams, we of course ran down to the concourse by the court and walked past none other than future Hall of Famer and 1990s icon Dennis Rodman in the Market Square Arena tunnel by the locker room. I’ll look to post that ticket stub when my well past 18th birthday comes in later weeks. In the meantime, no Number 10, no issues.
Apparently Number 10 tried to call later that evening. I let the family know there would be no calls from Number 10. I had told Young Adams that I was not planning on speaking to him again. And for the next few days I kept that promise.
The next day-Monday-school was back in session in the Sonland. While it’s been established most of my senior peers that were in my classes didn’t really give a s–t if I breathed or not and therefore I didn’t talk to most of them…….I was more surly and quiet than usual. With the exception of Nancy Boosel in yearbook and the before mentioned Pat Kastner in Spanish (more on that in a moment) I don’t remember speaking to anyone for 2-3 days….and that included TLW as I simply would not look at her or speak to her in 4th hour sociology. Since my birthday had been the day before , of course my Spanish class sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me in Spanish…and Number 10 kept yelling and trying to talk to me while I had none of it and only talked to Kastner. Same went for Tuesday. On Wednesday someone asked me in said sociology class if I was okay as I had basically scowled for three straight days. I noted there were some issues with ‘friends’. Not like I’m King S–t or anything but I then looked across the room at TLW to cap off my answer and said (you knew this was coming) “With friends like that, then who the f— needs enemies?” The message had been given.
I continued to not talk to said couple on Thursday. I know that for a fact because at the end of the school day I walked right by said couple-who were holding hands during a stroll in the orange carpeted foreign language hallways-and simply ignored them without acknowledging them. I wanted no part of them. Period. And college was looking more appealing by the minute. Then again so was giving myself a lobotomy then dealing with them.
I had kept my word to Young Adams for the majority of a school week. I was planning to make that a full school week until a phone call that evening.
The call was from TLW.
No introduction as to her credit she went straight to her questioning. “Are you mad at me?” she asked in a Bette Davis approved voice. (Best comparison I can make as it sure as #!$% didn’t sound like, well, Kelly Kapowski.)
My reply: “Not necessarily you. However your boyfriend isn’t on my Christmas card list.” (Ironic since the card deal was what p–sed me off the most.)
I let TLW know that I could care less if Number 10 got lost in the jungles of Uganda and basically her getting said card with him made me associate her with said Number 10. I again was told that the duo spent over an hour trying to find a card for me. (That obviously went well. A flaming bag of cat s–t would have been better.) I also agreed to a truce of sorts (get ready because this will be a trend): I was to meet TLW at none other than Pizza Hut on Saturday afternoon to discuss said situation. All I needed was for Pizza Hut to be renamed the Peach Pit and we would have had our next 90210 episode in the wings. Out of curiousity, comedy or both I agreed to said meeting. Better her than Number 10. At least TLW would have been able to find the place without needing a map and compass.
Incidentally, that next day-Friday-at school-I finally acknowledge Number 10 at the end of said Spanish class after he yelled my name a few dozen times. I simply said “this has not been a good week.” Not much more was said.
So…Saturday. Around noon or so, yours truly sails the 1977 Buick to Pizza Hut. I’m rocking the Nike windbreaker that I posted before (the one I wore to the Young MC concert that I went to with the Homecoming Queen.) Words and advice from said HQ were in the back of my mind as I roamed onto Westfield Road. As a result I was prepared for our next Aaron Spelling approved scene to roll, only without cameras.
I walk in to a sparsely crowded Hut and see TLW sitting by herself. The persona, tone and facial expressions used were, well, like Bette Davis in that Hotel show from the early 80s…….
Long story short-I pull up a chair, sit it in backwards and listen to TLW speak 90 percent of the time. Main things I get from the meeting-besides TLW reminding me of a 77 year old actress-is that I am to play nice with her main squeeze Number 10….and that it apparently was still okay for her to rip on Young Adams as she had a few choice words about him. Considering that 1) Young Adams was my friend since growing up three houses down from each other iwhile 2) unlike TLW and Number 10, yours truly and Young Adams grew up in said Sonland City, were from families long based from Sonland City and therefore 3) really didn’t need to be dictated about social standing SINCE THIS WAS F—ING NOBLESVILLE INDIANA IN 1991….that was probably not the wisest thing to do. So I left said Hut simply saying to myself “This happened” while awaiting the next round of insults or chicanery. Hence I would not be surprised if I was going to get a cameo by Brenda or BrandonWalsh before the month was over….though as soon to be shown, Kelly Taylor would have been the personal preferred choice.
Better yet, since said Taylor made me think about The Prom Date, here’s said photo for thought:
Needless to say, you would have had a better chance of President Trump complimenting the work of The New York Timesthan expecting Number 10 to learn his lesson about being a c–k and making fun of his friends. So a few days later in what would be my third to last appearance out at Number 10’s home of Cliff and Mrs. Cliff, Number 10-in full front of TLW-of course not only insulted my family and Young Adams but also my toughness. We ended up for some reason wrestling each other….and while I was surely not 1989 Mike Tyson I responded to Number 10’s b—s–t by punching him in the face. Number 10 was shocked, backed off and looked at me in the YOU NO SUPPOSED DO THAT ME NUMBER 10 WITH SENIOR GIRLFRIEND expression. TLW had a blank facial expression with an open mouth that resembled what Mrs. Cliff and the younger brother of Number 10 would sport on occasion (which made sense as she was now spending more time out there…including IIRC some overnights as Number 10 had switched weekend visitors. In fairness, better he make advances on her if he needed someone to play doctor with.) I simply smiled as the message again had been given. Coincidence or not, Number 10 tried no more physical s–t nor said much more to me on a face to face basis. (He’d do a good job in saying stuff behind my back, but we’re not surprised about that. After all, no one’s perfect. Better yet, read on to what happens next.)
Needless to say, things got worse. Quite frankly I was ready for confrontation and I was ready to verbally go off on people if I heard rumors or insults about me (see my original August 2016 post about dealing with The Eight Sons on this). This in turn led to a confrontation with me and Cliff over the s–t Number 10 was pulling and my refusal to put up with said s–t. …and in turn led to another Saturday summit (see the trend?) that took place on May 4, 1991….which I remembered because it was a Saturday that was not only my father’s 50th birthday but was a week before meeting up with, yes, The Prom Date. (For your added 90210 style comedy, I was supposed to be DOUBLE DATING with Number 10 and TLW to this prom. Keep that in mind with all you may have read, because obviously I had a feeling this prom thing was not going to happen as planned and therefore safe to say I was ready for other plans come prom time…..like no prom at all. More info to come in future posts as that played into how everything went during prom weekend.) While there were issues with other individuals that were my friends whom Number 10 had regularly insulted because apparently there just wasn’t enough oxygen getting to the brain for him to comprehend that he wasn’t exactly making friends with his behavior, our man Cliff decided to ring me at home that morning to invite me out to the Cliff Compound. I may never be confused with Clint Eastwood but I had no trouble accepting the invite because I also didn’t expect to speak to anyone related to Number 10, Cliff, TLW or TLW’s Buffalo Bills after this. I no longer gave two s—s about anything and was tired of anything that had to do with the Sonland….and as far as I was concerned The Man Called Cliff had drawn the lines in the sand.
There as Number 10 and TLW…..and there was everyone else who was to bow down to them. Since Cliff IMO apparently viewed TLW as the wife-in-training of Number 10 (including overnight stays to do more than play Nintendo), then TLW was the Daughter of the Industry and the new icon in making. They were above me and Young Adams. ‘No they’re not you mailman looking m—-f—–‘ I thought to myself as I remember this same family had insulted mine for way too long. Hence I was prepared for anything.
To be quick and quit the babble…
……I sail the Buick out there. I am p–sed because I am ready for anything since I trusted Number 10 as far as my then 140 pound scrawny a– could throw an elephant. Of course TLW answers the door. Of course I simply said “WHERE’S CLIFF?” as I was directed to the family room. Cliff called me by my first name. No Number 10. No Mrs. Cliff. TLW-who did not say another word to me-stayed in the background. Cliff and I have a frosty discussion with the same references that I am now a piece of s–t for standing up to Number 10. I simply said (paraphrasing) ‘your son is not my friend, I’m tired of him insulting my family and my friends, and if you want I’ll plan on never speaking to you, your son or your family again.’ I also noted that my issues were with his son, who was nowhere to be found. (You’ll find out where he was shortly.)
For comedy, Cliff asked “What about prom?” My answer: “What about it?” (This made me laugh because both then and now it was one of my best lines.) After Cliff offered that poor white trash like myself should not be going to prom in a 1977 Buick (more on that when discussing The Prom Date in full) I simply responded that I’d rather take a #$!$$! Greyhound bus then be in the same car with his boy Number 10. The main points: I was tired of being treated like s–t, did not want to deal with the Golden Couple and when it came to not setting foot in the Cliff Compound or dealing with said Golden Couple I had deadpanned (paraphrasing) “That can be arranged.”
As me and Cliff were in the midst of our verbal jousting, all of a sudden Mrs. Cliff shows up in the area…and walking a few paces behind her with his head staring down at the floor with puppy dog eyes looking like someone had just told him that TLW had given him a permanent case of the clap (or that Santa Claus did not exist as it was a similar look) was the Son of Sons, the World’s Greatest Athlete, He Who Did No Wrong…yep, good ol’ Number 10.
Number 10 never spoke. I also never had any respect for Number 10 after that moment.
As Mrs. Cliff did the usual HE JUST JOSHIN’ HE NO MEAN TO CALL YOU WHITE TRASH YOUNG ADAMS IS BAD BAD BAD spiel, I simply wondered why in the blue hell I had decided to drive out to this place on Labor Day weekend to assist this so-called piece of humanity with his homework and told Mrs. Cliff that I disagreed and would prefer to hear it from Number 10 himself. Since dude never spoke, I never heard it from him. After hearing more insults about Young Adams, I also for once in my life made damn sure to utter “Adams isn’t here to defend himself.” (Then again, my take is that wasn’t in the game plan.) But Number 10’s imitation of the penguin that used to appear on those old Bugs Bunny cartoons and cry with tears turning into ice cubes was enough to show me that as far as I was concerned, I had won by standing up to him and not backing down from a one on four situation. It also ensured me in knowing what I call the RULE OF THE SONLAND: it’s okay for a bully to insult or bully someone, but it’s NOT okay for that someone to stand up for themselves and return the favor. I already knew it when dealing with The Eight Sons as I lost my weight and gained some self-respect; now that self-respect was back after dealing with Number 10. I may not have gone through the proper storybook measures to do it, but I did it.
And yes, here’s a photo of said penguin:
I also now had all the incentive I needed to succeed outside of the Sonland. Just writing these last 7,000 words proves that in my view I was able to do that. It also proves that I could be the instigator of a good filibuster on the Senate floor down the road..or that I’m just pretty damn long winded.
For your comedy of wrapping this up…..the Cliff Summit ended with two things happening (the first being a prelude to what I’d be dealing with at Transylvania four years later come graduation time):
-the first was in essence a gentleman’s agreement between myself and Cliff (remember, Number 10 never spoke as he hid…er, stood behind his mother) in which I was not going to f— Number 10’s prom up. Apparently I was still going to be double dating at this prom with him, TLW and The Prom Date. Then again, perhaps it was best so someone could give Number 10 directions as he once got lost driving around I-465 looking for downtown one Sunday when I rode with him and his future varsity backcourt mate Brad Coverdale. Since Number 10 quit insulting me to my face after that (actually, he didn’t speak to me much besides small talk in that Spanish class) that was probably the main reason I was needed for the evening anyway. And since dude got lost on the way to Kings Island prom weekend, I think that kind of confirmed it.
-the other was an order or declaration of sorts from Cliff that I remember to this day: “Stay away from Adams. He’s nothing but trouble.” I told Cliff (paraphrasing) that I’d give it the consideration it deserved. And since Young Adams already knew about the Cliff Summit because I had called him before I went out to the Cliff Compound (IIRC he was impressed that I was going out there by myself to confront them) then of course you’re not surprised that later that evening I went straight over to Young Adams’s crib and gave him the rundown…complete with final Cliff quote. Since Cliff was supposedly friends with Young Adams’s father AND (according to Young Adams) said Young Adams was one of Number 10’s very first friends when Number 10 moved to the Sonland schools without knowing anyone else…..all the more reason that you should also not be surprised to read that I decided to never set foot in Number 10’s house again once May 11, 1991 (i.e. Prom Night with The Prom Date) concluded.
I’m not the best at keeping my word on things, but I did keep my word on that. (Also helps that the Cliff Compound has been replaced by a subdivision so it no longer exists).
So when I do discuss senior prom on the next main post, I’ll admit that I went out to Cliffland that next Saturday with The Prom Date (Number 10 wanted me to drive out there so he in turn could drive all of us to prom and obviously avoid seeing my family) that I knew it was the end of an era. I also knew that I could handle myself if there was an issue that evening but the main thing was to make it through said evening and just be happy I was going to prom in the first place….while also knowing that I had stood up for myself, friends and family in the process. It was a good lesson to learn with college on the horizon because there would be some times where I would have to stand up for myself in good old Lexington as well. Doing so in a place like the Sonland-Noblesville High School-while dealing with Number 10 was damn good practice.
Oh, to conclude things…..later that month after prom, this happened:
I finally did get out of the Sonland. Mission accomplished. FINALLY.
Thanks to any and all who put up with my ramblings as I summarize with this: bullying should not be tolerated. Nor should rudeness. I dealt with both in school. I feel I prove that I could overcome it. And with that being said I give the same message to Number 10, TLW and anyone else out there that I gave to the Eight Sons back when I wrote about their petty b—s— and insults last August. Better yet, here’s the message in full:
“You may have families now. You may have children now. If so, congrats and good for you. But as I type this very sentence with God as my witness, I have this to say to you: I hope and pray that your children never, EVER treat any man, woman or living creature the way you individuals treated me back during those first two years of high school. I was lucky enough to overcome it and make something of myself. But not everyone may be as fortunate as I was or be blessed like I was to get the job done and overcome your ridicule. Think about that. Better yet, pray your children aren’t getting the s–t from others that you Eight Sons gave to me.”
Switch Eight Sons for Number 10 (and to a smaller extent for her words on Young Adams, TLW) along with “first two years” to “last year” of the Sonland and we’re set.
As for Number 10…..if you want comedy, look at dude’s current LinkedIn page. Plus as a thank you to those who actually plowed through what is now 8,000 words of me recapping what inspired me to go have a good college career outside of the Noblesville, Indiana area, here’s your current photo of Number 10 from said LinkedIn page:
Now off the soapbox again. Next time there’s a Prom Date to discuss. And that alone should be some fine much needed comedy in itself.
Best wishes and thanks to all who may read this or anything else on the Fitzthoughtsblog.
New week, same results with Tom Crean and Indiana University basketball as they now wait for an invite to the NIT as opposed to the ‘March Madness’ of the NCAA men’s basketball tourney. When your coach is 2-16 against the present Big 10 hoops icon Wisconsin (including the 70-60 loss that I foolishly watched on Friday night) and only has winning records against Rutgers and Northwestern in Big 10 play…you MIGHT think dude would be worried about staying at his high paid gig due to consistently mediocre to s–t results (see the 2-19-2017 post for previous takes.)
I get that Crean will have his defenders. I also expect sportswriters will have their takes because they are paid to produce a couple columns per week in order to rake in their cash. Therefore I use my poor tech skills to include this link to Gregg Doyel article from last week’s Indianapolis Star….
…and after watching the Crean trademark WEAVE AND HEAVE offense along with having his main big man Thomas Bryant become an inefficient three point shooter and outright liability on the court against quality competition (the supposed future NBA draft pick scored TWO POINTS -emphasized because it was TWO F’N POINTS-against Wisconsin on Friday), I simply provide this GIF of the Day when it comes to the article:
For Doyel’s sake along with the people who would actually like to see Indiana University have a semi-competent basketball program some day, I hope his wishes of Crean evolving come true. As for me, should Crean continue to stay in Bloomington and lead the program to 15 loss seasons and sub-.500 records in the Big 10, I’ll echo the thoughts of that Curtis Jackson shown below:
NIT selection show is 8:30 pm tonight. Butler, Notre Dame and Purdue fans won’t be concerned because they’ll already know where they’re going for the NCAA tourney. Meanwhile take away last year’s Sweet 16 apperance Crean will have gone 17-15, 20-14 and (as of now) 18-15 in the other three of these last four seasons since Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo left for the NBA.
The supposed number one basketball school in the Big 10 is currently no better than fourth best in its own state. So I simply conclude with repeating this message to Indiana’s athletic director:
Your move, Big Glass.
Happy Sunday from the Fitzthoughtsblog and best wishes to all for a good week.
Saturday morning in Central Indiana. Found out I got an ‘A’ on my last paper and therefore got an ‘A’ in the class. No homework till new class starts next week. Plus it’s the weekend and there’s NCAA conference tourney basketball to watch (though not surprisingly that doesn’t include Tom Crean as Indiana does what Indiana does via losing to Wisconsin last night.)
Either way, letting one of the former sidekicks of ABC’s Growing Pains give us our toast to the weekend: